was the period in Greek history
lasting from the eighth century BC to the second Persian invasion of Greece
in 480 BC, following the Greek Dark Ages
and succeeded by the Classical period
. The period began with a massive increase in the Greek population and a series of significant changes which rendered the Greek world at the end of the eighth century as entirely unrecognisable as compared to its beginning.
According to Anthony Snodgrass, the Archaic period in ancient Greece was bounded by two revolutions in the Greek world. It began with a "structural revolution" which "drew the political map of the Greek world" and established the poleis, the distinctively Greek city-states, and ended with the intellectual revolution of the Classical period.
The Archaic period saw developments in Greek politics, economics, international relations, warfare, and culture. It laid the groundwork for the Classical period
, both politically and culturally. It was in the Archaic period that the Greek alphabet
developed, that the earliest surviving Greek literature was composed, that monumental sculpture and red-figure pottery began in Greece, and that the hoplite
became the core of Greek armies. In Athens
, the earliest institutions of the democracy were implemented under Solon
, and the reforms of Cleisthenes
at the end of the Archaic period brought in Athenian democracy as it was during the Classical period. In Sparta
, many of the institutions credited to the reforms of Lycurgus
were introduced during the period, the region of Messenia
was brought under Spartan control, helotage
was introduced, and the Peloponnesian League
was founded, making Sparta the dominant power in the region. Read more...